Showing posts with label creative storytelling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label creative storytelling. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Create Great Visual Stories on Adobe Slate

Earlier this year Adobe released a free iPad app called Adobe Slate. Adobe Slate is a free app that you can use to create image-based stories. This week, Adobe launched a browser-based version of Adobe Slate.

The browser-based version of Adobe Slate is designed to help you create a visual story from the pictures on your desktop, from the web through a built-in Creative Commons search tool, from an Adobe online account, or from a Dropbox account. You start your story by importing a cover picture and writing story title. You then add pictures one-by-one and write captions for each. You can also write headlines for each image. One convenient feature of Adobe Slate is that the integrated image search tool will import Creative Commons attributions with the images you select. Adobe Slate has a dozen or so filters or themes that you can apply to your story. Completed stories can be published online through a variety of channels including Adobe’s platform, Facebook, or Twitter. Stories can also be embedded into a blog post as I've done below.

My dog, Max

Applications for Education
Adobe Slate is a nice tool, but it doesn’t stand out as being any better than Storehouse, Tackk, Haiku Deck or any number of similar options. All of those tools and Adobe Slate provide a nice way for students to share the highlights of a personal story or share the highlights of an online research activity.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nanoogo - A Fun Creative Writing Platform for Kids

This resources has gone offline (May 11, 2015). 

Nanoogo is a newer site designed to get kids interested in creative writing projects. At first glance Nanoogo reminded me a bit of Glogster without video and audio elements. On Nanoogo students can write stories and add pictures and other clipart to their stories. The writing takes place on a blank canvas that students decorate.

Applications for Education
Nanoogo has some excellent options for teachers. On Nanoogo teachers can create class groups and distribute writing prompts to students. Teachers have the power to create student accounts, maintain student identifications on the site, and re-set passwords. Writing prompts that teachers create can have an expiration date assigned to them. Teachers can log into their accounts to see what their students have created. Watch the video below for a complete overview of teacher side of Nanoogo.

nanoogo cropped final from Nick Urrea on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Make Beliefs Comix Offers 300+ Printable Comic Templates

Make Beliefs Comix, a multilingual comic strip creation service that I've featured in the past, recently released some new printable comic strip templates. These printable templates are in addition to the online Make Beliefs Comix creation tool. The templates are divided into dozens of thematic categories including history, holidays, and civil rights. There is even a category of templates titled Emotions which is designed to help students express how they are feeling through comic characters.

Applications for Education
The printable templates from Make Beliefs Comix could be excellent resources to use as creative writing prompts. You could have students start a simple story by using the templates then expand the story into a longer narrative.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Use Storybricks to Create Stories in Virtual Worlds

I sign up for a lot of beta and alpha invite lists. Often I completely forget about them shortly after signing up only to later wonder, "how the heck did I get on this list?" That pattern did not apply to Storybricks. When I received an email from them on Tuesday, I was excited to be able to finally try out their online platform for creating MMO stories.

Storybricks is a new service (still in alpha mode) for creating multilayered online stories. Storybricks works online if you have the Unity web player installed. Storybricks provides you with settings and characters that you can use to weave a narrative. All of your characters can have emotions and relationships with other characters. You make the emotions of one character respond to the actions of another.

The "bricks" aspect of Storybricks refers to the way in which you construct your stories. To build your stories you assemble "bricks" or blocks that represent emotions actions for each character. You can develop many different sets of actions and emotions for each character. And as mentioned above, your characters can be connected to each other.

Applications for Education
Storybricks is still in alpha so there are plenty of glitches in it. When those glitches are gone using Storybricks be a great way for students to get engaged in crafting narratives that they can see played out before them.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ken Burns on Storytelling

I saw this video this morning on Open Culture and I had to watch it right away because I'm always curious about the art of storytelling and because I am a big fan of Ken Burns. In the five minute video below Ken Burns explains what he thinks are some of the key themes in the art of storytelling. One of the things that stands out to me is his assertion that "all story is manipulation."

Applications for Education
If a venerated documentary film producer like Ken Burns is willing to say that all story is manipulation, what does that say about new media and other media outlets? That might be a good question to put to your students as an introduction to lessons on bias and propaganda. In the video Burns also introduces another question that could be a great conversation starter in your classroom, that is, "is it okay to manipulate information and how much manipulation is okay?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pinball - Tools for Organizing Ideas

Pinball is a suite of fun tools from the BBC for organizing ideas and generating new ideas. In Pinball you will find tools for creating mindmaps, outlines, and simple slideshows. Pinball also has tools to help you brainstorm and generate new ideas. Each one of the six Pinball tools provides options for including text and images in your mindmaps, outlines, and slideshows. If you're struggling to think of new ideas, each Pinball tool has a "lucky dip" button that will serve up a random image or bit of text to prompt you.

Applications for Education
All six of the tools in the Pinball suite could be very useful for students. The three that stand out the most to me are Dot Dash, Wild Reels, and Live Wire.

Dot Dash is a template for creating webs of ideas. Each part of the web can have text and images in it. It could be very useful for students who have a lot of ideas but aren't quite sure how to connect them all yet.

Wild Reels uses a virtual slot machine format for mixing up ideas. Students type in topics, type in keywords, and enter images in each of the slot machine reels. Then when they click spin the ideas and images are mixed up. I think of the final product as Mad Libs in a casino. Wild Reels could be a great creative story starter.

Live Wire allows students to organize their ideas sequentially and build a small slideshow. Each frame in the slideshow can include text and images. Rearranging slides is a simple drag and drop process. To eliminate a slide just "x" it out. After creating webs of ideas with Dot Dash and spinning ideas in Wild Reels using Live Wire could be a great way for students to publish their stories.

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